A Brief History of Colliers Way Cycling Group

Colliers Way Cycling Group was originally launched as the Somer Valley Wheels cycling scheme in 2007 by the Sports and Active Leisure department of Bath and North East Somerset Council. The initial funding came from a Lottery Grant and from the local Primary Care Trust.

The objective of the scheme was to encourage older people who would benefit from some gentle exercise to improve their health to try cycling. A small fleet of bikes was procured and stored in a container next to St. Nicholas Church in Radstock. A qualified part-time ride leader was employed to run the scheme. There was a nominal charge per ride plus a small hire fee for use of a bicycle. The income did not cover the overheads and the council continued to subsidise the scheme after the initial funding ran out. The scheme ran very successfully, delivering up to three cycle rides every week to users of widely varying degrees of fitness. Many of the users enjoyed cycling and bought their own bikes. At its peak there were two qualified leaders and an assistant leader employed.

Council funding was withdrawn in March 2011. Some regular participants were keen to continue cycling as a group so formed the Somer Valley Wheels Cycling Club, affiliated to the CTC (now known as Cycling UK). Two of the ride leaders from the council scheme initially continued to work with the new club in a voluntary capacity. Three cycles were purchased from the council and, as the council retained the original storage container for its own use, an alternative bike store was rented at a farm in Welton next to the NR Greenway. SVW used this as a base from Nov 2011 to Nov 2013.

In March 2014 SVW changed its name to Colliers Way Cycling Group. The reason for this was to avoid any confusion with another local cycling club that also had ‘Somer Valley’ as part of its name and website address. Members now pay annual subs, rather than paying per ride, and the group continues to be affiliated to Cycling UK (formerly CTC). The group no longer has any ride leaders; CWCG coordinates rides to enable members to cycle as a group. Rides are generally from 20 to 30 miles long. Starting point is shown on the Calendar.

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